President Obama Farewell Address Video – Watch Full Speech!
President Obama delivered his highly-anticipated Farewell Address on Tuesday. Watch the full video below!
As Gossip Cop reported, Obama gave the final speech of his presidency from Chicago’s Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. He began by exclaiming, “Hello, Chicago! It’s good to be home!” With so much applause preventing him from speaking any more, he joked, “We’re on live TV here, I gotta move!” After the loud cheers finally died down, Obama began his address in earnest.
“My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes we’ve received over the past few weeks, but tonight, it’s my turn to say thanks,” the president said. “Whether we have seen eye to eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people… are what have kept me honest and kept me inspired and kept me going. And every day I have learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.”
Obama then recalled his days as a community organizer in Chicago, and as he did, a chant broke out, “Four more years!” The Commander-in-Chief responded with a laugh, “I can’t do that!” Going back to his prepared remarks, Obama said he was motivated by the idea that “we the people,” through democracy, can change society and “achieve a common good, a greater good.”
He cited immigrants, women, civil rights activists, and soldiers as those who have all worked towards the greater good, and noted that our country is for “all, not just some.” “Yes, our progress has been uneven,” Obama acknowledged, but then pointed out a number of accomplishments, from overcoming the recession to enacting healthcare reform to legalizing gay marriage.
“By almost every measure, America’s a better, stronger place than when we started,” Obama stated. But when he started to talk about the “peaceful transfer of power,” there were some jeer before cheers. The president stressed that the future can only continue smoothly if “all of us, regardless of party affiliation or particular interest, restore the common purpose that we so badly need right now.”
Obama called for a “basic sense of solidarity,” because “we’re all in this together,” and “we rise or fall as one.” He urged “economic opportunity” for everyone, as well as communal work towards improved race relations. After a reference to Atticus Finch, Obama noted America has been “strengthened” by those from other countries. “Each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do,” he stressed.
The outgoing president then discussed the segmentation in our society, and how people view news as true or false based on whether it matches one’s beliefs. “But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter,” Obama said, “then we’re going to keep talking past each other.”
Obama warned that climate change denial not only shortchanges future generations, but also “betrays the spirit” on which our country was founded. He went on to address terrorism, and vowed, “No one who threatens America will ever safe. And all who serve, who have served, it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.”
The President further emphasized that democracy only works with citizen participation, and called on Americans to reject anything or anyone who tries to separate the U.S. from its principles. “For all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title, the most important office in democracy: Citizen,” Obama declared.
He went on to pay tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama, leading to a standing ovation and extended applause. “You took on a role you didn’t ask for, and you made it your own,” he emotionally pointed out, wiping tears from his eyes. Daughter Malia appeared to be crying in the audience as well, and Obama shared how “most proud” he is to be father to her and Sasha.
More applause and another standing ovation followed when Obama singled out Vice President Biden, noting, “You were the first decision I made as a nominee, and you were the best.” He even said he had “gained a brother.” Obama further thanked his staff, and all those who worked on his campaigns. “Because you did change the world, you did,” he said.
“That’s why I leave the stage tonight more optimistic than when I started,” Obama told the crowd. He later said, “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you. I won’t stop. In fact, I will be right there with you as a citizen for all my remaining days.”
And, as his “final ask,” he urged, “I am asking you to believe, not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.” He added, “Yes, we can. Yes, we did.” Obama’s speech comes just 10 days before President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated. Check out the full speech in the videos below, and click to see celebrities react to Obama’s address.